Even though blue-chip prospect Josiah Turner, a 6-foot-3 point guard bound for Arizona, was dismissed by the team last month, Sacramento High may still be favored to defend its Division-III crown in the Sac-Joaquin Section playoffs.
With five teams qualifying and three Manteca Unified schools hosting a first-round game, the Valley Oak League is well-represented in the Sac-Joaquin Section Division-III girls basketball playoffs - so far.
Good news first: Sierra High's two losses to end the Valley Oak League girls basketball season last week had no effect on its postseason chances.
EL DORADO HILLS – Closing the Sac-Joaquin Section Divisional Wrestling tournaments with a berth into the SJS Masters meet was the primary goal, but Weston Ranch's Donnell Simms was able to take it a step further by winning the 189-pound championship on his way to the Masters.
Weston Ranch's boys basketball team was expected to contend for the Valley Oak League title this season, even with three sophomores in the starting lineup.
One team was trying to close out a frustrating season with one last quality effort.
LATHROP - J.J. Ramirez wants a commitment from his Lathrop High boys varsity basketball team.
The Ripon Indians opened the contest with a blistering start and never lost track, blasting Orestimba High 88-57 to close out the Trans Valley League boys basketball season Friday.
With the Valley Oak League championship already annexed by Manteca High's girls basketball team, the buzz surrounding its anticipated regular-season showdown with rival East Union took a little bit of a hit.
WESTON RANCH - With Sac-Joaquin Section postseason positioning at stake, intensity was not a problem for Weston Ranch and Sierra's girls basketball teams Thursday in their Valley Oak League finale.
RIPON - Thursday might have been senior night for the Ripon High girls basketball team, but it was a sophomore guard who came in off the bench and made the biggest impact in the Indians' last Trans Valley League game.
Winning felt so good for Lathrop High's girls basketball team after Tuesday's victory that the Spartans decided to do it again, putting together a fourth-quarter comeback to sting the Kimball 46-36 in both clubs' Valley Oak League finale.
Eddie Andrade is a young man of few words.
WESTON RANCH - As predicted, the East Union High boys varsity basketball game at Weston Ranch Wednesday was an up-and-down, high-scoring affair.
Lathrop High's varsity boys basketball team has one last chance to notch its first-ever Valley Oak League victory.
Cole Stevens had his best shooting effort on a night in which he did not feel well.
Gregori-Modesto closed out the first half against host Manteca on an 11-2 run and then watched the Buffaloes blitz out of the locker room on a 21-4 run on the way to a 57-52 non-league boys basketball win at Winter Gymnasium.
Much has changed in the Southern League volleyball ranks, but one thing has remained the same: Ripon Christian still rules this court.
In a matchup of 6-foot-8 centers, it was 5-10 guard Daniel Wyatt who came through in a big way for Sierra in its McDonald's Classic opener Wednesday at Delta College.
Manteca High freshman Gino Campiotti has been given the rare opportunity to showcase his talents to college coaches on the other side of the country.
Angelo Baciocco sparked Ripon with an early win in the 152-pound bout, and the Indians benefitted from two forfeit victories to knock off visiting Waterford 45-33 in a nonleague dual Wednesday.
The Ripon Christian boys soccer team rolled to Southern League and Sac-Joaquin Section championships, chasing only history throughout its magical run.
Sierra came out of the halftime locker room on fire Tuesday night, using a 21-0 third-quarter run to stop Ripon Christian in its tracks, 55-34.
RIPON - Rod Wright can't remember a team from his past that has shot as poorly to start a season as his current club.
Sometimes, a routine can be good.
STOCKTON – In his first varsity wrestling match East Union's Jaysen Reindel fought back from a 10-4 deficit Saturday in the 220-pound championship match of the McNair Invitational to get a pin and take home the gold medal.
STOCKTON – Beset by injuries and illness, Manteca endured a suffocating full-court press for all but the game's last three minutes from Lincoln in a 54-21 win for the host Trojans in non-league girls. basketball action on Saturday.
Ripon Christian started the championship game of Riverbank's Ron Peterson Tipoff Tournament on a 13-0 run Saturday against Calaveras-San Andreas, but that was not enough to keep the Knights from ending up where they have the last two years in this tournament – second place.
Will Kamps proved that his sophomore campaign was no fluke.
Ripon Christian appears to be hitting its stride.